Adam in New Jersey is asking about adding a mix to his baseball
and softball fields. See the surprising ending! And
an added warning to watch out for assumptions.
I have a field where I'm planning on adding
dirt mix for the infield. It is a 50-50 mix. 35 tons for
a high school baseball and softball field.
Is this good
enough for the infield? Should I add anything to it? What do I add?
Hi Adam, 50/50 refers to 50% topsoil and maybe 50% brick dust? Yes?
If so, this is not a bad mix for baseball. It may not be as hard
as you'd want on a fast pitch softball field though. Regular watering
and grooming will help.
A mix like
this will require a bit of attention at the grass edges to prevent
lip buildup. Just quickly use a fan rake along the edge after practice
and games and you should be good.
In my experience
35 tons on a high school field will raise the level about an inch.
You should consider tilling it into the existing mix if that is
what you are doing. Till it into the top 4 inches, level it, roll
it and water it down.
As far as adding
anything to it, you could add a calcined clay soil conditioner the
top to help prevent rainouts. Get much rain in the spring? Yes?
Then a product such Turface or Diamond Pro will help. Realize however,
that when the weather is hot and dry you will have to more heavily
water the infield dirt to get good footing. You'll need to soak
it a couple hours before the baseball game.
suggest the conditioner on the softball field. But you can see how
it plays and decide then. If using something like Turface is new
for you, I'd suggest start with a pallet - 20 fifty pound bags.
Spread it on the infield and scarify it into the top inch with a
nail drag. Add more as you see how it works for you.
is actually 50% topsoil and 50% screened compost.
What do I do with that?
Well, if at all possible, do not use that mix on the infield skin!
That kind of
a compost mix is a topdressing
for the turf, not the infield dirt. A mix like that would probably
be very fluffy and dusty when dry from my experience unless you
are using it on the grass. If so, then this mix is terrific for
Yours for better
play more often,
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
Baseball Field Renovation Guide